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The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection - Shiner Beer (1980)

Tyrrell Historical Library

Sound | 1980

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  •  The brewing process begins in the corn storage room 
  •  Bottling and canning 
  •  In the hospitality room 
 
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  • PM Magazine PM Magazine
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In this 1980 segment for PM Magazine, co-host John Walls profiles the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner. PM Magazine was a local news and entertainment television program broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV in from late 1970s to the mid-1980s. This segment aired on May 14, 1980.
PM Magazine, also known as Evening Magazine, was a local weeknight news and entertainment television series broadcast on multiple stations across the United States from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. The program combined both local and syndicated segments, with common subjects including local people and events, lifestyle and consumer tips, and human-interest pieces. KPIX in San Francisco premiered the first iteration of Evening Magazine on August 9, 1976. Station owner Westinghouse (Group W) Broadcasting subsequently introduced local versions at its other stations, before syndicating the format to other television markets as PM Magazine. 
 
The Tyrrell Historical Library Collection encompasses hundreds of PM Magazine segments broadcast on Beaumont’s KFDM-TV between 1979 and 1985. Leeza Gibbons and John Walls were the program’s original co-hosts. Gibbons went on to become a correspondent and co-host for Entertainment Tonight from 1984 to 2000. She also hosted her own daytime talk show, Leeza, from 1993 to 2000. 
 
At least ten other Texas stations produced versions of PM Magazine, including KFDA in Amarillo, KTBC in Austin, WFAA and KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, KVIA in El Paso, KHOU and KHTV in Houston, KCBD in Lubbock, KSAT in San Antonio, and KAUZ in Wichita Falls. Group W canceled the format in 1990, with final episodes airing on August 30, 1991. 
The Spoetzl Brewery, later known as the Shiner Brewery, began in Shiner, Texas, around 1915. German brewmaster Kosmos Spoetzl immigrated to the United States and moved to Shiner to start a small brewery. He bought a preexisting, but poorly maintained, brewery and taught his employees the Bavarian style of beer-making. With high quality beer, made with only barley and hops, the Spoetzl Brewery became a beloved feature of the Shiner community.
 
After the passage of Prohibition in 1920, Spoetzl turned to nonalcoholic near beer; however, he secretly brewed alcoholic beer and distributed it around the area. In 1933, Prohibition ended, and Spoetzl expanded his brewery. He built an Alamo-style plant, still in use today, and hosted community events. Spoetzl died in June 1950, after which his daughter Cecilie took over the business. At the time, she was the only female brewery owner in the country. 
 
Ownership by the Spoetzl family ended in 1966, when San Antonio brewmaster William Bigler bought the brewery. After another party of owners, the business was acquired by four native Texans from Houston. Shiner Beer is known for maintaining an active role in the community, hosting polka dances, cook-offs, and parades. In 1971, the Texas Historical Commission placed a historic marker on the brewery.